Devices News Reviews Smartmoviemakers, , , , , — March 15, 2013 17:25 — 3 Comments

Review: Hand Held Hollywood’s Filmmaking with the iPad & iPhone

taz Goldstein, hand held hollywood, iphone, filmmaking

Taz Goldstein: ‘iPhone and iPad owners already have the most powerful filmmaking equipment on the planet’

Professional director Taz Goldstein explores every angle of film and video production using iOS devices in his killer guide, Hand Held Hollywood’s Filmmaking with the iPad & iPhone

I’m not big on using cliches, but the fact is that I can’t think of a better phrase than ‘leaves no stone unturned’ when it comes to describing Hand Held Hollywood’s new book Filmmaking with the iPad & iPhone - because that is exactly what it does.

Almost three years since the launch of Apple’s revolutionary iPhone 4 and this is the guide that we have been waiting for. The fact that it is the first, that I am aware of, makes it more impressive, and may well become the ‘Bible’ for iPhone filmmakers.

There I go with another cliche, sorry, but if you really want to know something: after buying this book you’re not going to need anything else, apart from a device, to set you on your way in the exciting world of mobile filmmaking.

Taz Goldstein is the author and also founder of, which in itself is a great resource for mobile filmmakers. Taz is also an accomplished and experienced director and producer, who comes from the old school, but has wholeheartedly embraced the mobile revolution and the way we now not only create, but view content.

hollywood_hand_held-250And believe me this guy knows what he is talking about. Hand Held Hollywood’s Filmmaking with the iPad & iPhone is a weighty tome, almost 400 thick glossy pages, packed with tips and tricks and an exhaustive exploration of almost 200 apps and accessories that covers every possible angle of iPhone filmmaking, from script to small screen.

I have been reading this from cover to cover on the Tube on my way to the office for the past week and have learned so much from it.

As a filmmaker I come to it at an extremely amateur level, but the great aspect about this guide is that it is authoritative, for sure, but the narrative is kept simple so anyone can follow the advice on offer.

For example he will patiently explain how a pro director with a BIG CAMERA, will set up a shot, using angles, lighting etc, and then will show you how it is done on an iPhone and which are the best apps to use to obtain the same effect and quality.

It is also entertaining and engaging and Taz’s passion for iPhone filmmaking translates beautifully from page to page; and to use an American phrase, he really does want to ‘reach out’ to aspiring filmmakers and seasoned professionals who wish to be renergized by this wonderful technology that we have at our fingertips.

In his introduction, Taz writes: “If you own an iPhone or iPad or even an iPod touch, you already possess one of the most powerful and versatile production tools ever conceived …

“By producing and selling more than 400,000 of these devices, Apple has helped demolish the barriers to entry-level filmmaking and has revolutionized the way in which professional filmmakers apply their craft.”

From here on in the reader enters another world, a brave new world even, of filmmaking. The book is split into three parts: Development and Pre-Production; Production; PostProduction and Beyond.

Not only will Taz literally explain how to write, shoot, setup, and edit a video, he will show which platforms are best to get your masterpiece seen – he will even show you how to not only add a soundtrack and titles, but compose the music if you should so desire.

After reading Hand Held Hollywood’s Filmmaking with the iPad & iPhone, I immediately bought the app Filmic Pro. Here is what Taz had to say and is about it, and is a good example of his writing style: “If you plan on shooting video with your iPhone, plan on purchasing FiLMIC Pro. In fact, forget planning on it, just do it now, There is no better tool available in the App Store for capturing high-quality video on your iOS device.”

I bet certain app developers love him, but the thing is he remains impartial; for Taz you get the sense that it is about the best tools for doing the job. As a pro, you may expect him to turn his nose up at Apple’s iMovie or Garage Band apps, on the contrary he is their biggest fan (well, not sure about Garage Band, per se) – why? Because they are cheap and do an unbelievable job.

Of iMovie, he says: “…for basic editing tasks with minimal fuss, iMovie has no equal.”

One excellent tip (and there are hundreds) that Taz mentions which is so simple, but I had never thought of, is to transfer the footage from your iPhone to iPad (if you are lucky enough to possess both) to take advantage of its ‘big-ol’ screen during post production, which will mean you can keep working exclusively on phones and tablets – it also means of course you can save recorded footage on the iPad, delete it from your phone and carry on filming without having to worry about space issues on the iPhone.

After skimming through Hand Held Hollywood’s Filmmaking with the iPad & iPhone for this review, one thing I guarantee is that it is not going to sit on my bookshelf with my other film and scriptwriting books.

I will be taking it with me wherever I go and will constantly be referring to it as I endeavour to hone my own filmmaking skills.

The very last line in the book says it all: “Now stop reading, wrap up your game of Fruit Ninja, and go make a movie!’

Just don’t forget to buy Hand Held Hollywood’s Filmmaking with the iPad & iPhone, available as a lovely printed book, or in e-book format, either way it is money well spent and you would be one of the ‘crazy ones’ not to.

• Hand Held Hollywood’s Filmmaking with the iPad & iPhone is available at Peachpit publishers as a book ($31.99) or an e-book ($25.59)

Stay Smart | subscribe to our weekly newsletter

About the author

Tony Myers has written 866 articles for Smart Movie Making

Fooling around with the iPhone since 2010. Taking it to the next web by writing about new media, new technology, new wave cinema and the digital revolution.


  1. yard lights says:

    Hey I just loves your nice website thanks and pls keep it on

  2. 俺的にはいつも笑顔で悔しくてもそれを口にしないってアイドルに飽きてたから新鮮な人だった。

  3. Genuinely when someone doesn’t know afterward its up to various other visitors that they will help, so here it occurs.

Pass it on